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Convicted killer ‘took a swing’ at police officer in Ballymoney

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BT Coleraine

A man once jailed for killing his friend in Coleraine has appeared in court and admitted a charge of assaulting a police officer in County Antrim.

David Campbell (48), unemployed, with an address at Ahoghill Road in Randalstown, was at Coleraine Magistrates Court this week where he also pleaded guilty to resisting another police officer.

The court was told that on February 10 this year police were called to a report of a disturbance at Union Street in Ballymoney and when officers arrived they could hear shouting.

Campbell, who was intoxicated, was with his brother and another person.

During the incident, the defendant “took a swing” at a policeman but missed.

Police tried to restrain Campbell and he struggled violently.

Defence solicitor Stewart Ballentine said the defendant had been drinking heavily and the incident happened when he was visiting his brother.

The lawyer said, thankfully, no injuries were sustained by police.

Campbell was given a three-month jail term, suspended for two years.

The court heard the defendant, who has a “learning disability”, had spent five years in jail for a previous offence.

That was a reference to Campbell being given a sentence of 13 years at Ballymena Crown Court in 2003 for killing his friend Joseph Black, who was in his 50s, at Lambeth Way in Coleraine in November, 2001.

Campbell had originally been charged with murder but the charge was later dropped after he admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The Crown Court heard the victim had been subjected to an “explosive, violent and unprovoked attack”.

That court was also told Campbell was said to have an IQ of 59 and that he committed the killing during a drunken row, just 48 hours after being freed from jail.

At the Crown Court 16 years ago, a judge said he was imposing a 10-year prison sentence, on condition Campbell served a further three years probation, because “the public needs to be protected from harm from you”.

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